The “Day of the Girl” is not enough to change chronic gender issues in Argentina and globally, let’s be honest about this.
Every year we celebrate the world’s 1.1 billion girls who are part of a large dynamic and vibrant global generation poised to take on the future. Yet the ambition for gender equality in the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) highlights the preponderance of disadvantage and discrimination borne by girls everywhere on a daily basis. 130 Million of them are out of school. How can this be? We are not even angry about this systematic failure and we dare to celebrate. Why are we celebrating our failures instead of creating systematic changes in girl’s lives globally? Millions are suffering daily from Afghanistan to Argentina. No one is doing enough.
Today in Argentina, we got into the wagon of celebration of the “Day of the Girl” for the first time in the country at the Club Cultural Matienzo, a nine years old cultural project that has been working since its creation in exhibiting, curating and producing artistic events of all kind. One of their main goals is to generate space for alternative conversation for self-funded independent artists but also celebrate global event that brings people together for positive change. We were lucky to have organised our event, as this centre is a self-managed project by a group of local activists that promote critical actions to transform social, political and legal issues in Argentina. The organisation isn’t affiliated to any political party.
Having met and sat with the leadership team today, I try to understand more about the place. I learned that they have been worried about systemic gender issues in Argentina and sincerely believe that although our event helped raised awareness of the Day, gave young girls a chance to participate in tech activities but also taught them how to code, it does not address the key issues these women have been fighting for in Argentina. They are currently reflecting and trying to generate spaces to debate the many issues that affect women and girl’s daily in Argentina -from sex education is schools to legalising of abortion and stopping domestic violence-. Their voices have never been heard and these sensitive topics are not being addressed and are making young women feel very vulnerable.
Women and girls issues in Argentina must be priority at the agenda of policy makers in the country especially when elections are one week away. The country has the highest gender violence rate in Latin America. Around 280 women died in 2015 due to violence against women. About 4000 calls a day are received in the help line; this means there is a lot to do, specially from teachers: creating awareness with students, empowering girls is essential to stop and improve the situation. Celebrating the “Day of the Girl” was a mean for us to say, girls needs to be free from these atrocities as they become women one day. We showed Beyoncé’s Video called #FREEDOMFORGIRLS to emphasise on the importance of girls being free from all sort violence and intellectual freedom.
iamtheCODE is the first African-led global movement to enter Argentina in to mobilize government, private sector, philanthropic foundations to advance STEAMED (Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, Mathematics, Entrepreneurship, and Design) Education. It aims to Enable 1 Million women and girl’s coders by 2030; improve their digital literacy and find them jobs through technology and innovation.
A fundamental pillar of iamtheCODE’s work revolves around the empowerment of women and girls across the world, a key goal of the Sustainable Development Goals. Our mission is to build a generation of one million women and girl coders by 2030, measuring the indicators of the Global Goals and tracking progress. We believe technology will empower women and girls in Argentina hence we are proud to come back and raise these issues with private sector key partners such us Ernest and Young, ESET, and chicos.net.
With this in mind, the theme for this year’s International Day of the Girl (October 11th 2017) is also a day where we should be serious about change. We must raise our voices; collaborate for gender related issues to be resolved in countries and women to be listened to meaningfully with out bias.
Much more can and needs to be done to invest in feminist movement across the globe as Melinda Gates suggested in New York at the UNGA to ensure programs, policies and services effectively respond to the specific needs of women and girls.
When we invest in girls’ health, safety, education and rights for example- in times of peace and crisis – we empower them to reach for their dreams and build better lives for themselves and their communities. Only when investments in programs for women and girls on issues that particularly affect them – due to both their age and gender – are complemented with corresponding investments in data on girls, can we make real progress towards greater accountability in domains of critical importance to them.
We will continue our work in Argentina to raise issues and work with feminist movement to amplify their voices, but also use technology as a mean of breaking down barriers for women and girls in this Argentina and beyond.
Disclaimer: This event was organized by iamtheCODE.org. All pictures taken from the Club Cultural Matienzo belong to iamtheCODE.org and do not in any measure affiliate the Club Cultural Matienzo with a political party. The Club is not responsible for any content of agenda or guests invited to take part of the event. For more information about the “Day of the Girl” in Argentina, pictures taken, content distributed and how you can further support/join iamtheCODE.org, please contact:
For iamtheCODE London: Mariéme Jamme: +447595882717
iamtheCODE Argentina: Mariana Bosetti: +5491133608510